This seems to be the common question with every college student, especially when we approach break times. My roommates and I had the same question, and so we began searching for the top ten places to go for New Years. We began our planning in October.
Obviously, New York was one of the top attractions due to the popularity of the celebration in Times Square. Near the bottom was Rome, Italy. In an instant I was assigned the job of finding places to get your passports, flights, hotels and activities.
Traveling outside of the country is a scary thought, as it was something that I had never done and neither had any of my roommates. So it was very much the blind leading the blind most of the way, with little guidance from our parents who actually had been outside of the United States.
As we applied for passports and scheduled flights, hotels and activities, time eventually decided to slow down. The semester was still in full swing with break being only a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.
The end of the tunnel finally arrived and we were all set with our minimal Italian phrases and itineraries for the next two weeks in Italy.
Places that I saw:
My trip was centered mostly in Rome with a day trip to Florence, a 7-hour drive to Venice and then a day in Bled and Postanja, which are located in Slovenia.
In all I feel like I saw most of the major tourist attractions: the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum including the Roman Forum, the Vatican Museums, Catacombs, the statue of David, and many other attractions.
All of these sites did have long lines so we had to get up early, but when you realize that you do not have to wake up and go to class but rather go and walk around Rome, early mornings are a thousand times easier.
Everything that I saw seemed like I was in a dream; architecture, museums, streets, and the food were all so amazing it did not seem real. The dream did come to an end, though, as I boarded the plane and came back to the States.
I encourage everyone to travel abroad at least once. While I did not go with the University, at UW we have the largest amount of study abroad scholarships in the nation offering a total of $1,634,000 in scholarships to help more than 2,000 students over the last 10 years.
Going abroad helps open your eyes to everything else in the world. Americans have a very high level of ethnocentrism, which I did not realize until I went abroad.
An example of a program that UW does offer would be Australia in August of 2017. This program is offered in conjunction with University of New England, which includes three weeks of travel and which will investigate Australia’s export-led agricultural sector with the chance to tour Sydney and Brisbane.
For more information on other study abroad programs at UW, check out the study abroad homepage.